Eastbourne and Polegate MPs unite to call in controversial plan

Two MPs have united to ask a government minister to make the final decision as to whether 700 new homes should be built between Eastbourne and Polegate.

Tuesday, 25th May 2021, 4:31 pm

Eastbourne and Willingdon MP Caroline Ansell and Polegate MP Maria Caulfield have taken the unusual step of “calling in” two large scale planning applications in Willingdon, which the politicians say would seriously impact both constituencies.

The application at the neighbouring Hindsland and Mornings Mill sites would see more than 700 homes built on green field land on the edge of Polegate with a new medical centre.

A planning application for the site was previously rejected for housing by the planning inspectorate in 2019.

The neighbouring MPs have now written to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Government to request the decision be called in which would mean he would take the final decision on it.

Maria Caulfield said, “Most people accept new housing is needed but this site is simply not an acceptable location especially for the number of housing units proposed. Across Polegate, Willingdon and many other areas in the south of Wealden we have seen vast new housing developments over the last few years, so we are more than taking our fair share.

“Polegate currently has no new spaces for any more patients at the GP surgeries and despite recently expanding Polegate Primary School, it is again full. The roads around the town are gridlocked and overdevelopment nearby has led to issues with sewage leading to it running down the streets.”

Caroline Ansell said, “This is the return of a deeply unpopular application which provoked widespread opposition on its previous submission in 2019. The primary grounds for rejection then have not changed. It is still unsustainable and potentially unsafe. Willingdon, which already has a recognised shortage of recreation space, is currently subject to cumulative planning applications for as many as 1,300 dwellings. Such a substantive build out of the village will sacrifice its distinctiveness and identity by creating a continuous conurbation between Eastbourne and Polegate.”